A few days ago was the 2nd anniversary of my friend Chris Quickle’s passing from cancer. I thought it was important to share his story with you all. He was such a truly kind and gentle person…it’s very sad that he had to endure so much suffering in his life. However, because of the sacrifices that he made we were all able to spend a little more time with him.
I met Chris as he was the younger brother to my friend and drummer Kevin. I was quite a bit older than Chris but he was such a cool guy. He was a Chef and a musician. He played guitar in a band called Moon Root. The band was pretty ahead of it’s time actually. They wrote songs about the mystery machine, and Chewbacca, and even a little ditty about Kevin called “Vacuum Cleaner Salesman” in which they set a vacuum on stage and let it run throughout the song. Kevin designed and maintains a site you can visit here—————->www.moonroot.com
Chris and I went to the prom together. I was 3 years older than him so you can imagine the rumours about Chris’s “older” date. 🙂 We looked a very handsome pair. I wish I could find the photo as I haven’t seen it since I moved last.
Anyway, his best friend from High School has asked his asked the school to set up a Memorial Scholorship in his name and I wanted to post his narrative here along with a recipe that Chris’s Mom sent to us all for his special Potato Soup. Sleep well Christopher Quickle…we all miss you so.
CHRISTOPHER BRIAN QUICKLE
WE THE FAMILY, CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS OF CHRISTOPHER BRIAN QUICKLE WISH TO DEDICATE THIS SCHOLARSHIP IN MEMORY OF A WONDERFUL YOUNG MAN WHOM WE ALL LOVED AND CHERISHED.
CHRIS WAS A 1993 GRADUATE OF NOTRE DAME HIGH SCHOOL WHO LOST A FIVE YEAR BATTLE WITH CANCER AT THE AGE OF 27. IN THE SHORT SPAN OF HIS LIFETIME, HE TOUCHED THE LIVES OF SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE AND IS TRULY AN INSPIRATION FOR ALL WHO KNEW
CHRISTOPHER WAS NOT THE TYPICAL TEENAGE BOY. HE WAS A VERY LARGE ROBUST INDIVIDUAL WHO FACED A LOT OF CRITICISM AND CHALLENGES BECAUSE OF HIS SIZE; HOWEVER, HE TOOK IT ALL IN STRIDE AND WAS A VERY FUN-LOVING, HELPFUL PERSON WHO WENT OUT OF HIS WAY FOR OTHERS.
IN HIGH SCHOOL, CHRIS WAS ALWAYS SILENTLY IN THE BACKGROUND READY TO DO WHATEVER IT TOOK TO GET THE JOB DONE. HE WAS AN ABOVE-AVERAGE STUDENT IN THE SPANISH CLUB, KEY CLUB, HONOR ROLL, NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY AND REPRESENTATIVE TO BOYS STATE. HE WAS HONORED BY GOVERNOR GASTON CAPERTON AT AN AWARDS CEREMONY FOR WRITING THE STATE’S WINNING ESSAY FOR THE CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS QUINCENTENARY CELEBRATION. HIS LOVE FOR MUSIC FOUND HIM IN THE BAND AND PLAYING GUITAR WITH FELLOW STUDENTS IN THEIR OWN PRIVATE BAND WHICH CONTINUED EVEN AFTER HIGH
CHRIS’ ZEST FOR LIFE AND MOVING FOREWARD IN HIS CAREER WAS UNQUENCHABLE. HE CHOSE TO RELINQUISH HIS LAST FREE SUMMER VACATION AND IMMEDIATELY AFTER GRADUATION,
STARTED AS A FULL TIME STUDENT AT THE PENNSYLVANIA INSTITUTE OF CULINARY ARTS IN PITTSBURGH, PA AT THE TENDER AGE OF 17. HE DEMONSTRATED EXTREME COURAGE TO GO IT ALONE IN A LARGE CONGESTED CITY, STARTING CLASSES AT 6 AM AND OBTAINING AN ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN CULINARY SKILLS WITHIN A 2 YEAR PERIOD. DURING THE COURSE OF HIS STUDIES, HE ENDURED MANY HARDSHIPS. THE TWO STUDENTS THAT HE SHARED AN APARTMENT WITH DESTROYED A LOT OF HIS POSSESSIONS AND FINALLY DROPPED OUT LEAVING HIM THE BURDEN OF ALL EXPENSES . LIKEWISE, HE CONTRACTED INFECTIOUS MONONUCLEOSIS AND WAS FORCED TO
DELAY HIS GRADUATION BY THREE MONTHS.
UPON GRADUATION, CHRIS ACCEPTED A JOB AT NEMACOLIN WOODLANDS RESORT IN THE MOUNTAINS OF PENNSYLVANIA NEAR UNIONTOWN. HE COOKED IN THREE OF THE RESORT’S FIVE
RESTAURANTS BUT HIS GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT WAS BECOMING A CHEF AT THE FAMOUS “GOLDEN TROUT” RESTAURANT AT THE RESORT. IT WAS NOT AS GLORIOUS AS IT SOUNDED BECAUSE THE WORK WAS EXTREMELY INTENSE. IT WAS A GREAT CHALLENGE FOR
SOMEONE AS LARGE AS CHRIS TO BE ON HIS FEET CONSTANTLY IN A HOT ENVIRONMENT WORKING EVERY WEEKEND, HOLIDAY AND SUMMER VACATION SINCE THESE ARE PEAK HOURS CATERING TO THE PUBLIC.
TWO YEARS AFTER CHRIS BEGAN WORKING AS A CHEF, HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH HODGKINS LYMPHOMA AND UNDERWENT CHEMOTHERAPHY FOR WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A CURE FROM HIS CANCER. HE WAS IN REMISSION FOR 13 MONTHS WHEN IT RETURNED AND HE
RECEIVED A SECOND ROUND OF TREATMENT. AGAIN, CHRIS WAS HOPEFUL THAT HE HAD BEATEN THE ODDS AND HE WOULD HAVE A CURE. THE ENTIRE TIME THAT HE WAS UNDERGOING CHEMO, CHRIS WORKED PART TIME AND WAS DEPENDANT ON HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO HELP HIM THROUGH THIS HORRIFIC ORDEAL. HE TRAVELED FROM UNIONTOWN TO PITTSBURGH TWICE A WEEK TO ACCOMPLISH THIS GOAL AND WAS VERY ILL DURING ALL OF THIS. HE RARELY COMPLAINED.
CHRIS AGAIN WAS NOT CURED AND ALTOGETHER RECEIVED THREE MORE ROUNDS OF TREATMENT CONSISTING OF CHEMO, HIS OWN STEM CELL TRANSPLANT AND RADIATION. HE DID ALL THIS BECAUSE HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY DIDN’T WANT HIM TO GIVE UP. WHEN HE COULD
NO LONGERWORK AS A CHEF, HE RECORDED VIDEOS, BURNED CD’S AND TRADED THEM WITH DOZENS OF INTERNET FRIENDS ALL OVERT HE COUNTRY. HE GAVE OF HIS TIME AND TALENTS TO ANYONE WHO NEEDED HELP ; NEVER EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN.
CHRISTOPHER PASSED AWAY ACCEPTING GOD’S WILL AND HIS ONLY REQUEST WAS THAT WE NOT MOURN FOR HIM. HE WAS SO ORGANIZED AND WELL LIKED THAT HE HAD FRIENDS, CLASSMATES AND CO-WORKERS AS FAR AWAY AS NEW JERSEY COME TO HIS FUNERAL.
IT IS WITH MUCH PRIDE THAT WE HONOR CHRIS’ LIFE BY HELPING ANOTHER YOUNG PERSON TO DEMONSTRATE THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTIAN CHARITY. WE ARE HOPEFUL THAT THE RECIPIENT OF THIS SCHOLARSHIP WILL FULLFILL SOME OF THEIR OWN ASPIRATIONS AND GOALS JUST AS CHRISTOPHER HAD ACCOMPLISHED IN THE SHORT TIME HE WAS WITH US.
Chris’ Potato Soup
Chop finely one onion and 4 or 5 stalks of celery. Place them in a stock pot with a small amount of cooking oil and sauté the celery and onions. Then put in a generous dash ( 2 or 3 0z. ) of bourbon, cooking sherry or white wine and evaporate the alcohol off.
Next you cut up 5 or 6 peeled large potatoes ( make them potato salad size) and place in the stock pot with the celery and onions. Add one large can ( 32 oz.) of chicken broth and finish covering veggies with water. Place 2 or 3 bay leaves in the mixture, salt and pepper to taste and cook until the potatoes are done.
When potatoes are cooked and done, strain off or remove the bay leaves from the broth and take half of the cooked potatoes and place them in a blender. While you are blending half the potatoes, take the stock pot off the fire so that the mixture can cool down a bit. Once you have blended half the potatoes, place them back into the stock pot with the other cooked potatoes and add either a pint of heavy cream or a half quart of half and half milk to the mixture. If the broth is on the fire at a raging boil it will cause the broth to chunk up. That is why it needs to be hot but not scalding when adding the cream.
Once this is done, bring the soup back up to a full boil and season again to taste. ( ie; salt and pepper if needed).
Chop up fresh dill and add to broth as you serve each bowl. Some people do not like dill so only add to each bowl as needed. SOUP IS DONE ENJOY!